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My Favorite Alexandria Outdoor Dining Restaurants (perfect for Virginia's reopening)

Alexandria is going into Phase 2 of reopening and most restaurants with outdoor spaces are allowed to have patrons. It's time to unwind outside! Our world is going to look a little different now even during a nice summer brunch or romantic outdoor dinner but for me, it's going to be a welcome experience to be in a restaurant with less people to be able to appreciate your surroundings as well as receive more dedicated service by employees all while supporting local businesses. Here are some of my favorites!

A brunch look here.


Best for Views and Insta-worthy Pics


Café 44 is a hidden gem on one of the upper floors of a non-descript office building but once you walk inside, it's the minimal and stylish restaurant Instagram dreams are made of. The outdoor dining space offers one of the best views on the Alexandria waterfront. Choosing the prix fixe brunch menu is your best for your buck and sipping their signature rosé lemonade is the perfect light summer cocktail.


Best for Space and Food


Lena's Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap is an airy outdoor patio that is perfect for eating no nonsense Italian pizza and pasta with your favorite beer or wine. The space is warm and friendly just like the staff and owners of this family run staple restaurant in the city. A plus is that even when if you don't make it out this summer, the patio stays open with a fire pit and they even provide cozy blankets for you to enjoy those cool fall nights. I'm partial to their spaghetti bolognese but the wood-fired pizzas are some of the best in the city.

Best for Vibes


Blackwall Hitch, also on the waterfront, but the view feels better when you are sitting on a comfy sofa in front of ambient firepit lighting on a warm summer night. They have a variety of appetizers that are filling enough for lounging in their outdoor space.

Best for People Watching


While outdoor seating is plentiful in Old Town if you want less congestion of people walking by while you eat, head to Sweet Fire Donna's. You'll get great BBQ and one of best happy hours in town while enjoying the neighborhood vibe. If you're Southern like me, being able to get an authentic glass of sweet tea on a summer day makes this restaurant a plus!


Best for Privacy


Tucked away at back of Sonoma Cellar is a small and unassuming intimate outdoor space. Pre-Covid-19 there was featured live music however, even without, it is still a great space to taste one of their many wines or their gourmet tacos on #tacotuesday and stash yourself away right in the middle of the hubbub of Old Town.

If you're up to visiting as the city reopens, tell them I sent you! What are some of your favorite outdoor restaurants in the area?

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